Experiencing a split in your marriage can be frustrating and leave many open questions requiring a solution. One of the elements needing to be resolved may be custody of your children. Understanding how child custody is determined in California is essential if you’d like to ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible for you and your children.
Understanding how child custody is determined in California is critical
How child custody is determined in California is often a question that divorcing parents have when going through this process. Fortunately, the state has a list of designated steps to follow when child custody needs to be determined. Granting custody follows a preferential order based on the child’s best interest, according to Sections 3011 and 3020 of the California Family Code.
If both parents have a stable and wholesome environment where a child can live, each one will share joint custody over a child. Deciding on where a child will stay is determined by the court after examining several different factors. One of these principal elements includes determining which parent is more likely to let the other parent see the child regularly. In some cases, both parents need to submit a plan to the court to help them decide.
After examining the households of both parents, the court may decide not to grant custody to either parent. If they feel like you or your partner doesn’t have a suitable environment where the child can stay, you may not be granted custody because it’s not in the child’s best interest. The immigration status and sex of a legal guardian, relative or parent will not be used as a disqualification factor.
Whichever home is determined as the final choice for your child, it’s good to know that their best interest will always be considered. Even if you are not awarded custody, you may still have visitation rights to maintain a relationship with your child.